Tag Archives: knitting

Snow Day post knitting

No Stitch & Bitch this week due to the city experiencing post snow commuting trauma. Rather sad as I was looking forward to swapping survival stories. To make up here are some photos from last week’s S&B at The Make Lounge in Islington.

S&B at Make Lounge

Tucked away in Islington is a gorgeous little craft haven. The Make Lounge runs craft workshops, parties and all type of other crafty goodness. I was rather excited to see that they do hire out studio space, handy for projects that will need a sewing machine or a cutting table, yay!

S&B at Make Lounge S&B at Make Lounge

In other news, I finally sewed buttons on my Tilted Duster from last year. The buttons ended up costing more than the actual yarn, but rather pleased with the overall result. My sewing up was rubbish, but the alpaca was very warm and the fit was perfect to my surprise. It can probably do with a second blocking, but maybe next time.

Tilted Duster

Tilted Duster

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Poor Anne Elliot

Poor Anne Elliot

It’s Sunday and for once in a long, long time I have a whole slothful Sunday to myself to do absolutely nothing (oh aside from laundry, grocery shopping and  other chores). It doesn’t matter that the sun is actually shining outside, I will not fall into the trap of feeling guilty for being indoor!

I think I finally understand why as obvious as it may seem why there are more knitters in the northern hemisphere. It really is fiendishly cold and I will forever be grateful for knitted scarves, beanies and mittens when the temperature dropped below the inside of my fridge. That being said, moving north should mean my productivity in said knitted garments should increase exponentially. Unfortunately although my stash and queued projects have increased the finished versus planned project ratio is rather woeful

It was no surprise that I was rather excited when I thought I knitted the lat bits of Anne Elliot only to realise that as I sew the pieces together that it was much too big and I just hated the way the sleeves draped on me. It didn’t help that the finished bust measurement ended up being much bigger than I estimated. No matter how I tried to block it, there was just no denying the fact that it needed a good frogging. The plan is to reknit the garment removing the number of stitch increase and changing the sleeves to raglan sleeves.

This rather depressing turn of event would have been the perfect reason to buy yarn at the various sales around town in John Lewis, Loop and Liberty, but I have already ordered a stash from Bendigo Woollen Mills not to mention the ridicilous amount I still have lying around. What did cheer me up was turning up to the first Stitch & Bitch London meet up at the Royal Festival Hall. Perhaps it was the combination of the weather, the start of the year and the number of people who decided to take up knitting as their new year resolution, but 194 knitters turned up on the evening and by 8pm we had overtaken the majority of chairs and tables. In a lot of ways it was a reflection of how popular knitting and crafting have become in the past few years, resulting in an increased number of books, yarns and accessories in the market.

Post Christmas

Santa full of air

The rather unfortunate result of flying in the wrong direction on Christmas Eve meant that I sort of spent Christmas on the plane. Sort of as in reality it was a non day which I guess meant it was a non Christmas as well. On the other hand the plethora of left over Christmas decoration made it feel as if the festive season was still very much alive as I pass yet another inflatable santa perched on someone’s rooftop or plastic reindeers planted on another house’s lawn.

Christmas deers down under

It was definitely a different type of Christmas compared to the one in London!

London Christmas

I haven’t been as active as I thought I would be once I am back in Sydney. Time seemed to crawl at a slower pace and the warm air was making me decidedly sleepy almost all the time.

I am very close to finishing my Anne Elliott cardigan with only the sleeves to knit up. It’s probably one of the most half baked pattern I have used, having to improvise stitch count and the overall measurement to get the correct fit, fingers crossed it will turn out. I am loving the fact that I have only used a single skein for the project so far. Then again the 200g ball of cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills was bigger than normal. Not quite sure what possessed me to buy this particular shade of green as it was out of my usual colour palette. I noticed that Bendigo no longer stocked this particular colour or any shade of green in their cotton range which was somewhat a shame, though I wouldn’t mind to try out their shade of new ochre or oxford for another cotton project…

WIP Anne Elliot

Christmas knit and Secret Santa

Fetching

The rather doubtful joy of being jet lagged is the odd opportunities of waking up at 5 AM and not being able to go back to sleep, lending itself to be a perfect time to update my blog regarding all Christmas matter before the day arrives.

Stitch N Bitch London Christmas Party

Last week was the last Stitch N Bitch London meet up before the new year and true to form, the Stitchettes organised a Christmas party that confirmed why I loved this group so much. As part of the fun, (should they wish to) each person were to make a Secret Santa gift they knitted themselves that will be placed in a giant sock. The rules were simple

S&B London Guide to Secret Santa

  1. You are to make one present.
  2. Your present should cost approx £5.
  3. Your present can be ANYTHING, as long as it’s knitted or crocheted.
  4. You must make your present before the S&B London Christmas party on Tuesday 16th December
  5. Preen yourself, then arrive at the S&B London Christmas party looking fabulous with your present wrapped up.
  6. Place your Secret Santa present in the giant Christmas stocking.
  7. At present-giving time pick a gift out of the giant Christmas stocking.
  8. Open your present and weep with joy.
  9. Sing Christmas carols and fine Christmas pub food.

Those who knows me would realise that I am a rather selfish knitter and am more likely to teach someone to knit rather than knit them something. At the same time for some reason I really wanted to knit a random someone something. With terribly good planning I started knitting fetching the Sunday before the actual event. Reasoning that last time it took me an afternoon to knit I should be able to finish it in a weekend with plenty of time to spare. Unfortunately I forgot to factor how being ill would change the equation. A few hours before the party I elbowed hapless passengers out of the way on the overland train so I can find a seat and to knit in peace, continued to do right until I arrived at the pub and  (just) managed to cast off moments before everyone picked their presents from the giant sock.

365

The quality of gifts that night was incredibly high and everyone ooh and aaahed whenever someone took another present from the pile. I managed to score a knitted gray beret made from a super chunky soft yarn that I absolutely love and was an absolute godsend in the cold NY winter.

Stitch N Bitch London Christmas Party

Looking around the room it amazed me how many familiar faces and names I now recognised from this lovely, cheerful and always friendly group. From the first week I arrived in the country the group became my lifeline in settling in and discovering various places in London. Life in London would have been poorer had I been too intimidated to attend the first meeting and I can gladly say that I will continue to turn to more meet ups in the coming year.

Bust Craftacular and the week that was

Bust Craftacular

One of the best things I love about London is the likelihood of bumping into events that would never venture out into Australia. A good example is Bust’s Craftacular, a DIY craft market sponsored by my favourite magazine that finally expanded across the Atlantic and held its first London Craftacular this year.

Bust Craftacular

Held in a tiny church hall, there were far too many stalls with fantastic goodies that were difficult to bypass as well as a live DJ throughout the day from mid day to midnight. I dropped in for a few hours for a look see and rather wished that I had more time and had a wide lens with me as there was barely any room to breathe. Being the first time that the event was held, I think the turnout was beyond most people’s expectation.  I heard one of the vendors exclaimed that they weren’t sure that they will have anything left in a few hours.

I still need to go through my photos, but if you are in the mood to do some on-line shopping in the comfort of your own home, I would heartilly recommend Ecclectic Eccentricity , Hannah Zakari among other vendors as well as a subscription for Bust ofcourse!

Oh and the first image with the craft surgery sign is for a craft clinic that was held that day. If you have any craft related questions, the two craft doctors  are happy to trouble shoot them for you.


Bust Craftacular

Knitting and baking

Peekaboo mittens WIP

Crappy disjointed week and the same is looking the same for next week unfortunately. Trying to finish projects that I have started, but I haven’t had much time to sit down properly do so…Above is an almost complete set of Peekaboo mittens (pattern by Pensive Frog) knitted using Jaeger Roma, shade 020 I picked up from Ally Pally a few months ago. I think I might need to redo the first one since the slit is not as centre as it should be.

ANZAC biscuits

With less than 4 weeks to go before my holiday starts I am becoming ridicilously home sick of late. Much to my housemates’ bemusement I came home after work and started baking ANZAC biscuits before I started cooking dinner. The recipe is taken from lemonpi’s blog and are mighty delicious with a hot cup of tea. I think the oats and flour here are quite different to home, a bit more fine than what I’m used to. Overall, I really like this version better than what usually comes out of the oven at home.

Down time and loot

Montana Moss Agate Beads

Things to do after a night out:

  • Wake up much too early (again)
  • Realise the morning light within the apartment is pretty amazing
  • Grab the camera

Pictured here are some Montana Moss Agate purchased at the Knitting and Stitching show from a lady named Ilona Biggins. I love the translucent quality and the scattering of black and gold specks through some of the stones. I might pair these with some smaller black onyx for an autumn necklace.

Not quite sure what to do with my Habu yarns yet, as I only have a single skein of each and they are too fine to be used for normal 1 ball projects.

Keane ticket

As for the week so far, I managed to snag Keane’s BBC electric proms ticket almost by pure luck. It sold out ages ago, but about a week before this show I received an e-newsletter from seetickets listing the gig tickets that are currently available, for some reason they have some tickets for Keane and I snapped it right away.To those who live in the UK, you can see the entire show on BBC’s website.

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos since the security guard at Koko took my camera off me. Bloody irritating since this is the first time in a while that anyone really checked my bag as I enter. The show was  amazing, never having heard them live I was thrilled to see that they were even better in person accompanied by a choir, violins and even some saxophones!

Their set list featured a number of songs from their new album Perfect Symmetry. I didn’t really know what to make of it when I first heard the album, strongly influenced by the 80’s it was nothing like the sweetly haunting previous albums. After a number of play it made a lot more sense to me, and The Lovers Are Losers and Pretend That You’re Not Alone are fast becoming one of my favourite songs.

For me, their music makes a lot of sense in London. Sunny Sydney just does not provide the right background and atmosphere to appreciate it fully. Whereas for some reason their mix of beautiful melancholic lyrics coupled with glorious, gorgeous music made perfect sense while I wander around London alone, happy in my little bubble.

Well for a lonely soul, you’re having such a nice time
For a lonely soul, you’re having such a nice time
For a lonely soul, it seems to me that you’re having such a nice time
You’re having such a nice time

Nothing in my way – Keane

Bit of ribbing

Snippets from last night’s Stitch N Bitch at the National Theatre.

On seeing a group of knitters in the Long Bar..

Man: “Are you a mother’s circle?”
SNB: “No, we are knitting circle”.
Man: rather perplexed. “Are you a mother’s group?”

Seemed like he was expecting an affirmative regardless what the answer was. In which case, I for one would like to apologise for our inability as knitters (regardless of gender) to simultaneously fall pregnant while holding knitting needles because everyone knows that anyone who knits in public in large groups must surely be making baby booties for their bun in the oven.

When Apple meets knitting

iPod + knitting

I love it when two seemingly unrelated objects are perfect complements of each other. In this case it goes something like this:

Indispensable object A provides much needed entertainment, background music and all around sanity during commute and work.

Indispensable yarn type object B (with pointy bits and pieces) keeps my hands busy during commute and guarantees more elbow room.

A few weeks ago I realised that some lovely people at Quilt2Go created a free application allowing me to keep count of my stitches for object B. In one small leap my iPod touch became a handy stitch minder that can also play my favourite tunes, keep track of my calendar and email and sends me in the right direction.

If you are a non knitter, a stitch minder is just that; a way to keep track of repeating patterns when knitting. The humble paper and pen does the job just as well, but being able to tap which row I am currently on with the touch while I am on the train work better for me. If you are knitter with a touch I am guessing that you are downloading the application if you don’t have it already.

Quilt2Go mentioned that they are working on another application called Knitminder that sounded interesting.

KnitMinder


KnitMinder provides you with a place to manage your knitting projects and supplies that’s right at your fingertips! Features include:

  • Store multiple projects using pictures and a convenient work log
  • Manage your yarn and notions stashes
  • Keep track of your needles, hooks, and other tools
  • Find yarn stores where you are

The features sounds a lot like what ravelry currently offers, albeit in a more portable version. I would love it if they decide to integrate ravelry as part of the application or at least have some sort of module that would allow some of the projects or stash information to be easily imported from one to the other.

I don’t have any stash images yet, but the background is a work in progress of the ribbed scarf I am working on using these yarns. Like Ysolda I am not the biggest fan of multi-coloured yarn, but the following combination for a simple ribbed scarf can be quite pretty. I am finding it a little difficult to capture the berry colours of the scarf properly, but here is a closer look.

Close up of wool and silk yarn

Wool gathering at the Knitting and Stitching Show

Knitting and Stitching Show 08

So I spent a whole day when the weather is beautiful outside indoor at the Knitting and Stitching Show

 

Depending on how I know you and how well I know you, the responses will range from a knowing smirk, disbelief to “so what’s the damage?”.

 

Despite the promise to be good, it was really, really hard to keep to a budget. The Knitting and Stitching Show is the biggest show of its kind in the UK, running for four days at Alexander Palace before moving on to Dublin and Harrogate.

 

Knitting and Stitching Show 08

 

Happily wool gathering, I was surprised to see oversea suppliers such as Habu from New York and a New Zealand wool company exhibiting. I picked up some Habu silk yarn just because I have never seen it before. I was half hoping to see a Jo Sharp stand, but that would have been too much of a good thing.

 

What I didn’t expect was the quality of the bead suppliers.  I managed to pick up a few semi precious stone that were usually impossible to find. Embarrassing stash photo will be dully posted eventually.  

 

Knitting and Stitching Show 08

For the non craft inclined, here are some urban shots taken on Saturday. I was supposed to take reflections, but did not find an inspiring reflective surface. The dull sky today is a far cry from the weekend’s sunny weather; it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the week.

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I am not looking forward to spend all day tomorrow at a work expo. Stand work is probably the one part of marketing I really and truly hate, the hours dragged for ages and everyone is out for the freebies. Though consumer shows are probably worse as the likely of leads are slim to none, but there are more “interesting” characters to deal with.